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Church Of The Dead – Church Of The Dead Award winner

Church Of The Dead
Church Of The Dead
by Thomas Kumke at 14 October 2020, 3:35 PM

CHURCH OF THE DEAD hailing from Helsinki, Finland were formed in 2012. They play old school Death Metal with Hardcore and D-Beat elements. Their lyrical themes comprise occultism, Death, and horror. “Church Of The Dead” is the band’s first full-length album. Prior to that they released five EPs between 2013 and 2015. Their debut full-length album was released via Stay Heavy Records, a Finnish label associated with Death, Thrash, Groove, and Gothic Metal bands. “Church Of The Dead” has a length of more than 32 minutes.

Five years after they released a series of five EPs, CHURCH OF THE DEAD are back with a bang and a new singer. “Church Of The Dead” starts with an instrumental that is gloomy with powerful chords, kept in mid-tempo. It does not take long to come up to speed in “Hounds Of Men” and that one sets a marker for the entire album: Death Metal at its best with heavy guitar riffs, high pace, blast beats, aggressive growls and screams. “Hounds Of Men” offers even more than that, it contains atmospheric sequences that are known from Black Metal as well as backing vocals that intensify the brutal screams of Jussi Salminen towards the end of the song. “Coffincraft” continues with that, although the overall tempo is a bit slower, there are a few breaks with short high-speed sequences in between. CHURCH OF THE DEAD understand it very well to darken the sound during their mid-tempo play using lead sequences, distortions, and the vocal screams.

Coffincraft” was released as video. It was shot entirely in black and white and while the band plays the song, someone goes out in the forest during a dark night, digs out a hole and finds a wooden box. He opens the box and inside there is a vinyl of “Church Of The Dead”. While the song finishes, he comes back home and starts playing the vinyl.

There are a few songs that have already been released on the EPs, such as “Reckoning”, “Something Came Out Of The Woods”, and “Nekrovulture”. With a better production, re-arrangements, and the new vocalist, those songs sound heavier, more aggressive, and regarding the sound more mature than on the EPs. “Something Came Out Of The Woods” is one of my favorite tracks of the album. The song structure is fairly complex starting with blistering pace, blast beats, brutal growls and screams, and the guitar riffs and chords includes Hardcore elements. Midway through the song, tempo slows down, the guitars changes towards more lead dominated sequences and overall the sound becomes darker. “Something Came Out Of The Woods” is with almost six minutes the longest song of the album. Hardcore elements are also part of “Nekrovulture”, another fast song of the album.

Another one of my favorites is “The Abyss”. Here, CHURCH OF THE DEAD mix the sound perfectly between the slow, very heavy and dark parts; mid-tempo patterns; and high-speed sequences by using the band’s full arsenal of weapons they have: powerful heavy riffs and chords, dark lead sequences, hammering blast beats and the deafening growls and screams of Jussi Salminen.

Church Of The Dead” is an excellent Death Metal album, it is raw, aggressive with a “kick-in-your-face” attitude. CHURCH OF THE DEAD are not simply an old school Death Metal band, their sound is, albeit influenced by some of the classics, original, it includes a variety of elements from different genres that are perfectly mixed together. The new vocalist fits perfectly to the sound on the album and his contribution raises the level of everyone in the band. “Church Of The Dead” is very well produced. CHURCH OF THE DEAD has delivered an album that should be part of every Death Metal fan’s collection.

Songwriting: 9
Musicianship: 9
Memorability: 9
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

1. The Opening: Rising From Beyond
2. Hounds Of Men
3. Coffincraft
4. Rat King (The Bringer Of Plague)
5. Reckoning
6. Something Came Out Of The Woods
7. Nekrovulture
8. The Abyss
Jussi Salminen – Vocals
Kride Lahti – Guitars
Tommi Makkonen-Viheriälehto – Drums
Antti Poutanen – Bass
Record Label: Stay Heavy Records


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Edited 20 October 2020

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